NZ's world champ cyclist Henderson pulls out of CWG

Last Updated 24 September 2010, 03:41 IST

Henderson, who was left shaken after seeing pictures showing "filthy" conditions at the Games Village, has informed the New Zealand cycling body about his decision to withdraw.
"There are just too many risks and in this situation the cons outweigh the pros. Who knows exactly what's gone on there," said Henderson, who is here to compete in the road cycling world championships next week.

"Realistically it's probably going to be OK and the Games will go on. But where I am in my career, at the moment the negatives outweigh the pros," he was quoted as saying by 'The Sydney Morning Herald'.

Henderson said he reconsidered his decision to compete in the Games at the insistence of his wife and kids.

"It's about my family, it's not just about Greg Henderson any more, I've got to think about my wife (former Australian Olympic cyclist medallist Katie Mactier) and little girl Charlie and they don't want me going to the Commonwealth Games," Henderson said.

Henderson joins Olympic champion Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh, Ian Stannard and Ben Swift in withdrawing from the controversy-hit October 3 to 14 Games, the organisers of which are in a mad scramble to complete the preparations.

"It's not all about Greg Henderson, I've got a family now," Henderson said.
"I have to put them first and I don't feel 100 per cent sure about the environment over there. I look at it and think would I like Katie or Charlie competing over there and the answer is obviously no. I've got to put myself in their shoes and weight up if it's worth that much.

"Anything could happen over there. Is my career, is cycling, worth it?" he asked.
Henderson came sixth in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games road race.
"...the only one I'm missing is an Olympic medal and I'll be gunning for that in 2012," he said.

"It's going to be a shame not to represent my country but I'm going to do that next week (at the world road championships)."

(Published 24 September 2010, 02:59 IST)

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